Australia Visitor Visas

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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If you are planning a sightseeing trip to Australia, or a holiday, or a short business trip, you will need a visa. Australia has a fast, easy system for such visas, which are obtainable through the Internet. These are the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visas that allow you to spend up to three months in Australia, and are valid for a year from the date of the ETA, or until the expiration date of your passport, whichever is earlier. As with all Australian visas, you must be in good health and have no criminal convictions.

The Convenience of ETAs

These rapidly-approved visas are official substitutes for paper visas and do not require stamping, as passports do upon entry into the country. They permit entry until the last day of the ETA for a stay of up to three months, even though such a visit exceeds the expiration date of the ETA. All family members must have either a visa or an ETA, even children traveling under a parent's passport.

There is a plethora of countries whose passport holders can apply for ETAs, including the United States and countries in Europe and Asia. Applicants must be located outside of Australia in order to use the ETA system. All that is necessary in order to apply is information from your passport and your credit card (to charge the visa fees).

Because the application is processed electronically, approval is granted instantly. The application is then electronically recorded on the necessary systems of the Australian government. When it is time to check in for your flight to Australia, the electronic system lets the airline officials confirm that you have the right to board the airplane.

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